Hardy and heartfelt; Veterans of Valentine’s Day gear up for another year

Published 7:49 am Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Vicki Trimble recalled coming to work on her very first  Valentine’s Day morning, almost 20 years ago.

She knew little about what it would be like in her new flower shop on that morning, but she soon found out.

Her sister, Wendy Hightshoe, was on call to help out at busy times. Vicki decided she would go out to get some doughnuts just before 7 a.m., when the shop opened.

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“I came back and there was this line (of customers) that went right through the shop and out the door” of her flower shop, the Hardy Geranium.“Wendy was just standing there, this look on her face, saying, ‘I can’t even run the cash register!’” Trimble recalled with a laugh. “We were real rookies, then.”

Roses await arrangement in the back room of The Hardy Geranium.

“We had no idea what we were doing,” Hightshoe added with a chuckle. “And if you were in here, then, you would have thought, ‘They don’t know what they’re doing.’”

Hightshoe, despite that early fright, has continued to return to her sister’s shop each year to help with the flowers.

“I do the dozen roses,” said Hightshoe on Tuesday, as staff began to gear up for the Big Day. Trimble creates the other bouquets. Loads of flowers began to arrive Friday, which are placed in coolers until pulled for bouquets.

This year is not nearly as busy as many, said Trimble. She had a sneaking suspicion that “since Valentine’s Day fell in the middle of the week, they had the idea they had plenty of time” to place an order. If it falls on weekends, there seems to be more of a signal to get the orders in.

“I hope they don’t all come tomorrow,” Trimble said with a chuckle.

You get the idea, though, that she and her staff — which includes three additional drivers today — will be able to handle it.

On Tuesday, Trimble was behind her workroom table, placing greenery among white and purple rose blooms.

“Oh, it takes me about 10 minutes” to put a fairly good-sized bouquet together. “We can keep up pretty well.”

Wendy Hightshoe arranges flowers as her siste Vicki Trimble talks about who The Hardy Geranium prepares for an always busy Valentines Day. Photos by Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Many are created ahead of time and placed in coolers for the Valentine Day’s rush.

Roses are still as popular as ever, Trimble noted, as well as tulips and lilies.

Trimble estimated that she and her staff will create at least 350 bouquets today. And surprisingly, most to those who place the orders — men — give their flower requests quite a bit of thought.

“They do it tongue-in-cheek,” agree Hightshoe, “but they really do think about it.”

As do Trimble and troops.

“We still enjoy it as much as we ever did,” Trimble said. “We have a lot of fun, we really do.”